Best Wrestling of the Week: Cesaro, Sasha Banks and Charlotte

7/16/15 – Scott Strandberg – @wrestlerosters

Wrestler of the Week – Cesaro

After putting on an absolute clinic with John Cena in last week’s Raw main event, Cesaro outshone any other wrestler out there this week. First came a tremendous triple threat match against Kevin Owens and Rusev on Raw, which was an exciting clash of three of WWE’s most freakishly powerful and athletic performers. Then, on Smackdown, Cesaro got a rematch against Rusev, pinning him cleanly in the center of the ring.

Cesaro has had so many start-and-stop pushes over the course of his WWE career that it’s always hard to predict when he’s getting an actual push, but he ran laps around anyone else in the ring this week. Furthermore, the clean pinfall victory over Rusev is the meaningful “W” that Cesaro has been needing for some time now. He is now the only man other than Cena who has pinned Rusev, an achievement not to be taken lightly. What a week for the Swiss Superman.


Match of the Week – Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte, NXT

Both Cesaro matches were contenders for this spot, but Sasha and Charlotte pulled yet another great match out of their collective bag of tricks. In the end, this match edged out both of Cesaro’s matches this week. Sasha and Charlotte have such an innate since of chemistry at this point. It’s like they’ve been wrestling each other since they each took their first bump. The match felt like a final goodbye for Charlotte from NXT — with Sasha likely following suit soon — and it was a fitting farewell for one of the women who put NXT on the map as a promotion. The emotional post-match celebration was icing on the cake.


Quote of the Week – “Almost everyone was eliminated during the commercial break!” Josh Mathews, TNA Impact Wrestling

This was a seriously “LOLTNA” week on Impact, and this quote from Mathews really sums it up quite nicely. There was a 20-man battle royal on this week’s episode, and after exiting for commercial with only a few men eliminated, the show returned to air with just Drew Galloway, Eric Young and MVP in the ring. Adding to the hilarity of Mathews’ quote of the week was the fact that he followed it up immediately with a promo for TNA’s YouTube channel, telling fans that TNA never wants them to miss a moment of action…except for about 2/3 of a battle royal, that is.


Must-See Wrestling:

  1. NXT Women arrive in WWE. Charlotte, Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks all got the call to the main roster this week, with Charlotte and Becky aligning with Paige, and Sasha joining forces with Naomi and Tamina Snuka. The influx of new young talent could revolutionize women’s wrestling as we know it, or we could be a few months away from Charlotte defeating Becky in 90 seconds via distraction rollup on Smackdown. The possibilities are very exciting — it’s just hard to buy too much stock, given WWE’s portrayal of women as competitors throughout history.
  2. Jay Lethal retains the Ring of Honor World Television Championship over Mark Briscoe. Lethal defended the TV title for the first time since Best in the World on this week’s 199th episode of ROH TV, and Mark Briscoe was more than up for the challenge. Despite the clear finish of Lethal retaining the title, the match itself was booked in a very entertaining fashion. The entire House of Truth repeatedly tried to intentionally disqualify Lethal to save his title, once they realized that Mark had brought his “A” game. This booking put Mark over as a serious threat without damaging Lethal in the slightest, and the House of Truth’s repeated failure to cause DQ’s was a fun storyline for the match, helping suspend disbelief to make it seem like Mark had a chance.
  3. Vampiro accepts match against Pentagon Jr. at Ultima Lucha. This had been a foregone conclusion for weeks, but the execution was still thrilling. At the beginning of Lucha Underground’s first season, fans loathed Vampiro’s commentary, but his chemistry with Matt Striker has developed to such a degree that viewers now deeply care about Vampiro the character. This week’s episode was a great example of that, as the crowd popped enormously when Vampiro hit Pentagon with a chokeslam, before running into the crowd to celebrate.